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Original Issue

A Swimsuit Odyssey We cruised around the Mediterranean this year and found lots of sea and a few oddities, but nothing worth writing Homer about

Before skipping to the main event in this issue, the pix, take a
moment to learn about its theme--2001: A Swimsuit Odyssey. Like
the other Odyssey, that poem by Homer, ours began in Greece.
While we encountered no Cyclops, we did visit the Cyclades
islands. Unlike Odysseus, we invited the siren--in this case,
MTV's House of Style hostess Molly Sims--onto the boat. No one had
to be lashed to the mast.

Our Grecian formula was loose enough to include any
Mediterranean country, which is how Daniela Pestova, Lujan
Fernandez and cover girl Elsa Benitez found themselves riding
camels through the Tunisian Sahara. Having paid homage to the
glory that was Greece, how could we ignore the grandeur that was
Macedonia? We couldn't, which explains Heidi Klum's bust-to-bust
pose with Alexander. And they both look pretty great.

We came to Las Vegas not to praise Caesars, but to photograph
models with the staff centurions at that hotel and casino. In
Vegas, we accepted the gracious invitation of Siegfried & Roy to
visit their Mediterranean-style palace. Startled by the sudden
movement of one of her hosts' lions, model Josie Maran fell into
the pool. (Thankfully, there was no sign of Charybdis.) Farther
west, in Oahu, eight NFL Pro Bowl players donned togas for
us--Dean Wormer would not have approved--forming a buff
tribunal, indeed. On the whole they were better behaved than the
senators who surrounded Caesar on that fateful ides of March,
although Warrick Dunn's patience wore thin during the shoot.
"I'm buggin'," he said at one point, threatening to flee. But he
stuck it out.

A final admission before buggin': This issue has about as much
to do with The Odyssey as Baywatch does with Beowulf. But that's
O.K. We hope you agree that it is, in its own way, epic.


COLOR PHOTO: TERRY RICHARDSON VEGAS Fernanda indulges in a bit of Venus envy (page 152).

COLOR PHOTO: STEWART SHINING TUNISIA Shakara takes a ride with an unmade Bedouin (page 28).

B/W PHOTO: EVERETT COLLECTION SUDDEN DEATH Sport's first superstars: gladiators (page 56).

COLOR PHOTO: CHRISTOPHE JOUNAY ITALY Shirley shows that everything is ripe in Sicily (page 116).

COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR. HEIDI GAME NFL stars wonder: tackle or just touch? (page 204).

B/W PHOTO: HUFFSCHMITT/SIPA PRESS DREAMS FOR SAIL Grace under no pressure on a yacht (page 89).

B/W PHOTO: JAMES PORTO STATUE-ESQUE Daniela wins over another neigh-sayer (page 98).